Devices: Your Own Video Surveillance System

November 20, 2013
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Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD

Weighing in at only 11.5lbs, the Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB is an advanced video surveillance system that gives you plenty of bang for your home safety buck. It includes an H.264 smart DVR which gives the user remote access from both the Internet via Internet Explorer and/or select 3G smart cell phones including the BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and iPad. The PKD-DK4216-500GB includes 4 indoor/outdoor night vision cameras with 60ft of cable per camera, a pre-installed 500GB security hard drive and a simple point and click interface all combined into an easy to use H.264 smart DVR. With network access, VGA video output, and USB2.0 backup, the DVR is perfect for the home or small business.

I SpyI’m often dubious about electronic goods made in China, but this system packs a massive load of value for the price paid. You can, to be sure, find superior quality cameras for a couple hundred more hard-earned dollars, but this basic camera system makes for decent camera images. The question you need to be asking as a consumer is about whether you’re just out to be safe and/or prevent pilferage, or something else. High-Definition this is not! But if it’s simply a matter of catching burglars or your neighbor’s labrador pooping in your backyard, this is it!

The DVR comes in a metal casing and includes a Western Digital 500GB Green Drive. The cameras are small and solidly built metal, also. Call me old-fashioned but I’m a sucker for all metal construction. Installation is a snap if you own the appropriate stripping and crimping tools, know how to splice cable and have an expensive drill. If not, a professional electrician still ought to be in and out of your house in less than an hour. If you buy the system from a well-known outfit like Best-Buy, they will be able to set up everything for you from the get-go, and cheaply!

The rest, save for the instructions, which are written in a slightly stilted English, was easy. Figuring out the software menu doesn’t take long; it’s really just a matter of adjusting the cameras to suit. Get somebody to help or else you’ll be up and down your ladder till you get it set to your satisfaction. Best bet is to go upstairs and see how the house/business is spatially laid out.

Tech-wise, if you know network security and how to set up IP addresses, go for it! Otherwise, as I said before, if you know nothing about networks, have someone else set it up for you. The instructions are not very good for someone who doesn’t know what an IP address is. Once I figured out what IP address my router gave to the DVR I was up and running on another networked PC in my home. It did take a little tweaking of the settings within Internet Explorer to get it to work. Fortunately, there are videos on YouTube on this subject and Zmodo has its a own website. Simply go to Google and put in the product’s name. There’s lots of info out there.

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